In honor of Derby Day

In honor of Derby Day I’m sentimentally going to share my most Southern dish…..the biscuit.

This recipe is about more than just an average biscuit….there’s the honey. The summer my honey was saving for a ring he worked the bee hives in the mornings. An old family friend from church had taught him the process and would pay him (more than ever necessary) to help with the process when he was home in the summers. Now every time we go down to visit we always have a jar of honey waiting. The one we have now is one of my favorites, it has more of a floral flavor.

Last but not least I also used some rosemary from my garden. Our garden is looking fabulous, here is just a short preview….

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The rosemary I’m using today

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Everyone in the South has their own biscuit recipe and technique that has been passed down. Every good Southern restaurant does as well, Loveless Cafe in Nashville, Hominy Grill in Charleston, BRC in Houston (not the most traditional example, wonderful none the less)…..I suppose I’m a connoisseur of sorts. This is my recipe, let me know what you think!

Rosemary Honey Butter Bisuits

Ingredients:

1 Cup Pastry Flour
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
5 Tbsps Sugar
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 3/4 Cup Buttermilk
16 Tbsps Frozen Butter
2 Tbsps Honey
1 Tbsp Finely Copped Fresh Rosemary

Preheat the oven at 400 degrees. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder up in a bowl. Then grate 10 Tbsps of the frozen butter into the bowl (this helps prevent overworking the dough) and add the buttermilk. Gently mix the buttermilk in with your hands, be extra careful not to over work the dough so they’ll be fluffy. Put the dough on a powdered surface, make a 6 by 8 inch rectangle, and cut into six squares.

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Place on a parchment lined sheet pan a couple inches apart.

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Bake for 20 minutes, in the meantime melt the rest of the butter on the stove top, add the honey and rosemary. After 20 minutes in the oven take the biscuits out and baste them with the butter mixture.

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Then put them back in the oven for another 10 minutes until gold brown.

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The butter and honey mixture almost caramelizes the top of the biscuits…. And it’s heaven!

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These are the perfect size for breakfast sandwiches! You can only imagine how happy my husband was when he came home on his lunch break to one of these buttery biscuits with bacon, an egg, and cheese on it!

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I apologize for the bite, it smelled so good I almost forgot to take the final picture for y’all! By the way……it tasted heavenly! They don’t make recipes any more “Southern” than this. Happy Derby Day from our home to yours!

Hosting a Pinterest Party and other lovely thoughts

Hello! Again, I’ll shout I’m alive! I know it has been a bit since my last post so I have lots of fabulousness for you today! It was recently I heard of these Pinterest Parties… sounds awesome right? I knew this was the perfect theme for a get together with the girls!

How do you host a Pinterest party, you may ask? Oh your in luck Im giving you the step by step guide to make this party planning much easier than it seams…

1 month before: Send the invites, I’m always late on this step, I guarantee a much better turn out if you do it this way rather than the usual text the week before. Get everyone to bring a dish they’ve pinned and never tried. Want to save your guests some work? Add a cost per person that they can charge with the RSVPs (tons of websites have this option, try Eventbrite, then you can buy the supplies for everyone… This is much easier than the popular bring a craft your working on option I’ve seen…. I mean really what craft are you working on?!!

2 weeks out: Start looking for what crafts you would like to make close to your budget per person. I chose three crafts but more on that later. Remember if you have each person pitching in for themselves you can spend the money you would have spent on the party anyways and make it that much more over the top! You can start a group board and get all party attendees to add thier ideas for crafts on Pinterest.

1 week out: Buy supplies!!! Buy extra for any last minute RSVPs and return the any leftovers later. Get extra tables, chairs, table clothes, and general party supplies (vases, dishes, glasses) rented if you need extra. Buy cute glass vases to hold some of the supplies (think dollar store), this will add a little something to your table. Oh you have vases to clean rinse the paint brushes in….Fancy. I think so. HINT: Use plastic table clothes, I may never say this again, but this is a crafting party… Glue, paint, all things that are bad for your linens.. So don’t be ridiculous!

2 days before: Buy the ingredients for your dish and seasonal flowers (refrigerate to hold the fresh look). Buy beverages, I had a brunch so I bought ingredients for a juice bar. HINT: Ask a few people to see if you need to add a savory or sweet dish yourself based on their dishes. I added a plate of good extra crispy bacon and it was perfect (add that to the list too, bacon, always bacon).

Make one of each craft, it’s much easier to explain the complicated online directions to somebody after you’ve done it yourself, plus it’s super cute to display on the table. Still go ahead and print several copies of directions for each craft for your guests.

1 day before: Make your dish ahead as much as possible, I made sweet rolls up until the point they were just ready for the oven, covered, and refrigerated over night. You can find the recipe for the raspberry sweet rolls here. I added a simple drizzle of icing (1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp good vanilla, and 2 Tbsps milk). They were super easier but delicious! I cooked the bacon on a griddle and threw it on a cookie sheet in the oven the next morning so it was warm. Make your flower arrangements now, you can’t have a party with out flowers..

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I bought a small bouquet from the store and picked roses out of my front yard to fancy it up a bit. Hold your bouquets in the refrigerator overnight.

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Your refrigerator is party ready!

Oh and music, of course choose your party music. I played She and Him throughout the party because it doesn’t get more girlie that a band with Zooey Deschanel

Morning of the party: Set your tables up with your supplies and the drink table up with whatever your beverage selection may be. Put your dish in the oven and enjoy a cup of coffee while you wait on your guests to arrive.

Now for the pictures from the party…

My backyard all decked out! Special thanks to the hubby for the lighting and hanging my banners!

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The Food!!!

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And I say again… The food.. It was that good!

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Oh please notice my flower arrangements, I lined the glasses with collard greens from the backyard. I thought it was awesome!

My juice bar, sparkling juice to make it more girlie..

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The painting table, find the tutorial we used here.

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I love my farmers baskets, I used them to put my paints in today but I somehow add them in to every party!

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The ombré tote craft table, we used this idea!

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Sophia!

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Finally the fabric flower craft table, craft link here!

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Group Pic!

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Oh… I forgot to mention, I used a Pinterest and Pajamas theme… I hope your Saturday has been as fabulous as mine, happy weekend from our home to yours!

A Little California Inspiration

I’m alive!!! I know it’s been a few weeks but I promise this beautiful recipe was worth the wait…. Plus I have updated everyone’s favorite wall in my house… The Chalkboard Wall is ready for Spring!

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Love it, don’t you? This was designed because of what all has happened over the past month. I have been truly humbled by God. I was wasn’t feeling as excited about my retail job as I once had coming out of this Christmas. Working six days a week with long hours through the Holidays had me longing for a more 9-5 type job. I have thought a lot about what I really enjoy doing…. Unfortunately most of my domestic interests don’t seem to be career interests. I prayed… and I prayed… really not sure what I was praying for. I knew I needed a change. The day before my birthday, a coworker/friend of mine told me of a position another coworker had applied for. Turns out, this was the position I have wanted since I first went to work for Macy’s. This is the type of job, I was once told, somebody would have to die for it to come available. It is also the one position in the company in which I could use my domestic/ creative skills all the time. It would be a way for me to get paid to do what I love, plan events full time. But there were a million reasons for me not to have the opportunity to interview for it, much less get the position.

Despite all odds I was able to apply for the position that wasn’t even posted yet with the help of my boss, and conveniently the supervisor of that position was in town from California the day I emailed it in to do an interview. I’m happy to tell you all, God has blessed me with this new position. There is no way around it, He is the reason I have this new job that fits everything I was looking for (some of which I didn’t even know to look for). It’s always humbling to realize God has something wonderful planned for you, that you wouldn’t have dreamed up on your own. This brings me to the California inspiration, due to the new job, I’ll be doing a little traveling. My first week was in California. Being the foodie I am, any time not working was spent looking for the next meal. Although there were many fabulous foodie experiences (follow my Instagram), it was a salad from Hugo’s that has inspired me to replicate it for you(with my own spin of course). I don’t know if I’ve ever really eaten beets much less cooked them before this, but trust me their is nothing to fear.

Beet and Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad
Salad for two

Ingredients:
Two Large Raw Beets
1/2 Cup Goat Cheese
1/2 Cup Carrots Chopped
1/4 Cup Scallions Chopped
1/3 Cup Walnuts Chopped
3 Cups Chopped Spring Salad Leafs
1/3 Cup Dried Cherries
1 Cup Cooked Quinoa
4 Tbsps Oil and Vinegar Dressing
Coconut oil for roasting

First Preheat the oven at 400 degrees. Then we must peel, cut the roots off, and chop these beautiful veggies (chop into eights)

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Put them on a sheet pan then cover them with coconut oil, salt, and pepper (a couple tablespoons should do).

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Stunning, right? Roast these for about 40 minutes in the preheated oven. The coconut oil gives them a slightly sweet taste. Let them cool and chop the beets into smaller pieces. Our sweet friends that watched Sophia while we were both on trips gave us these beauties.

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These were cleaned and chopped for our salad. I have a technique for making salads…. I don’t always make salads but when I do… I put all of the ingredients in a large plastic bowl and shake it. I like to make sure you get a little bit of everything in each bite.

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Mix these ingredients up and you get this gorgeous dish, it taste as good as it looks. It may look girlie but the hubby loved it (he added a little pretzel bread on the side)!

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From our home to yours, enjoy!

A recipe made with little trees

When I was a little girl, my parents would load us up in the van to take mini-vacations frequently. The drive I remember best was from our hometown of Batesville, Arkansas to Branson, Missouri. You heard me right, home to multiple outlet malls and a large majority of retired Vegas performers. Branson was a four hour drive, just long enough for my three siblings and I to resist going Hunger Games on each other.

On the drive through the picturesque countryside (at least in my memory), we would play car games and look for broccoli. As a child I loved to eat little trees, especially when my mom melted cheese on top. With the trees seeming so green in the distance my sister and I thought they were big broccoli… As the leaves turned yellow they looked like broccoli with cheese..

Now as a grown up, who never lost her love for a plate full of little trees, my husband and I have these wonderful veggies growing in our backyard. My love for the veggies and my New Years health kick have inspired me to create a new broccoli recipe. This dish is perfect for anytime of the day and ridiculously heathy!

Broccoli and Cauliflower Frittata

Ingredients:

1/2 pound of Cauliflower
1/2 pound of Broccoli
6 large eggs
2 Tbsps olive oil
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup grated Swiss cheese

Directions:

Chop the Cauliflower and broccoli, saving the heads.

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Then sauté these pieces in a oven proof skillet (8-10 inch) with olive oil.

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While waiting on the broccoli/cauliflower to finish, whisk the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl. Once the veggies are tender (5-7 minutes depending on the size of pieces), pour the mixture over top.

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Preheat your boiler (this is optional but preferred). Cook these over medium low heat until the eggs begin to set on the bottom (about 5 minutes), then cover and cook until the eggs set on top (about 7 minutes). I then put my frittata under the broiler for just a minute to brown the top a bit. Now your ready to serve!

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This pairs perfectly with potatoes, salad, or a simple fruit salad (pineapple, blueberries, and mint) as I served it with one morning for breakfast.

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Enjoy this one guilt free! From our home to yours, happy eats!

The dessert that will make anyone fall for the baker…

There is no ingredient more romantic than chocolate…. At least once a month I have a craving for a over the top decadent dessert with this fabulous ingredient. Little did I know I would find the ultimate food craving satisfaction in the most simple of desserts.

This one, found in the The Beekman Brother’s Cookbook, highlights good quality chocolate….

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It reminds me of the most fabulous chocolate pudding ever made, served up at the Hominy Grill in Charleston, SC… (Add that to your must eat list, along with this one of course)

Orange Chocolate Pots De Creme

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups half and half
Grated zest of 1 orange
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup sugar
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarse chopped
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

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Make sure you use the good chocolate (my favorite as always is Ghirardelli).

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a saucepan, combine the half-and-half, orange zest, and salt. Bring this mixture to a simmer on low heat, remove from heat cover, and let steep 15 minutes.

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Strain the orange zest out of the mix, return the half-and-half to the pan, and add the sugar. Bring it to a simmer, remove from heat, and add the chocolate. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes, or until the chocolate melts.

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In a large glass measuring cup with a spout, stir together the egg yolks, cocoa powder, orange liqueur, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the chocolate mixture. (If you beat too fast you’ll get bubbles, so take it sloe and steady)

Pour the custard into six 6-ounce ramekins or teacups (perfect for valentine’s dessert). Place a folded kitchen towel into the bottom of a baking pan large enough to hold the ramekins snugly.

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Place the ramekins into the pan and fill the own with hot water (until about halfway up the sides of the ramekins)

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Cover the pan with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. The custards should be set but the center will still jiggle just a bit. Uncover and remove the ramekins from the water. Let cool to room the pasture, then refrigerate until cool.

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Serve with whipped cream if you like…. It is truly to die for…

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Careful who you serve this one to, you have my guarantee they’ll love you forever (or at least while they eat it). Happy Saturday from my home to yours!

Tricking Myself…… Making the most beautiful salad.

Anyone that knows me very well knows I love food but what most don’t know is there is one dish I can’t seem to love……. Salad. I’m ashamed to say there are very few salads I have enjoyed in my life.

1. The Filet Mignon Salad, Brave New Restaurant in Little Rock, Arkansas
2. My Mother’s Strawberry Poppyseed Salad
3. The Goat Cheese Salad, Ruggles Green in Houston, Texas
4. My newest creation The Shrimp Blueberry Salad

The newest way I have tricked myself into eating a salad, making it sweet and beautiful…

The Shrimp Blueberry Salad
Makes two fabulous salads

Ingredients:

1/2 cup organic blueberries
3 dried mango slices diced
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1/3 cup diced pineapple
10 fresh shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 Tbsps coconut oil
organic baby spring mix
Annie’s organic fat free mango dressing

Cook the shrimp in a skillet with the coconut oil until white…. It will smell like summer in your house (my husband’s comment). Then load up as much of the greens as you can handle on two plates. Split the rest of the ingredients on each of you plates and sprinkle some fresh cracked pepper on top to finish.

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Seriously one of the best salads of my life….and it’s extra healthy (don’t tell the hubby)! This is the perfect way to get your family to eat a salad. Plus you have to eat healthy if you are wanting this for dessert….

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I’ll save that recipe for a later date…. Happy eats y’all from our home to yours!

Sweet memories and the easiest truffle you’ll ever make

All my memories are attached to food. Eating those foods can transport me right back to that moment. Although I have cooked and shared many a fabulous gourmet dish, there is always something about Oreos that I can’t get over. Yes I know it is processed sugar, shortening, and more processed sugar….. I believe the only people who can really say they don’t have a secret love for Oreos are those who have never had the some-what guilty pleasure of downing a package of them.

So I have many memories attached to these cookies, lunch in my elementary school cafeteria, coming home from college knowing mom would have them waiting, and late night trips to the store with the hubby to get our Oreo fix. I’ll never forget my first Oreo ball experience. The Christmas my husband and I were engaged, he made the drive from Alabama to Arkansas on the 27th of December. What to my surprise had his sweet sister and mama sent with him…… Oreo balls. I had never had such a thing, it was the most familiar flavor but it looked like a fancy truffle. My mom and I quickly devoured the majority before the rest of the family even knew they existed. When I wanted to make something wonderful for a Holiday gathering this year, needless to say I thought I’d try a hand at the dessert I remember so fondly.

To my pleasant surprise these were super easy and they tasted even better than I remembered.

Oreo Balls
This recipes makes about 32 truffles

Ingredients:

1 package softened 8 oz cream cheese
36 Oreos finely crushed (use the food processed if you can, so much quicker)
2 packages of Ghirardelli Whit melting chocolates

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Take your finely crushed Oreos…

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Reserve about a 1/4 cup of crumbs and set them aside, then fold the cream cheese into the main bowl of crumbs and roll into balls about an inch thick, place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Then leave in the fridge for at least an hour, so they will hold their shape when their dipped in the chocolate.

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Melt the chocolate according to the package directions. Dip the balls and sprinkle reserved crumbs on top.

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It is that easy… Seriously, so for all of you snowed in this week you probably actually have the stuff for this treat at home now. You could even put these in pretty gift box and give the perfect homemade Valentine’s gift this year! From my home to yours, happy eats!

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